The latest round of WikiLeaks, known as Vault 7, has included the disturbing revelation that the CIA may have used Samsung Smart TVs, as well as other brands of smartphones and cars, to essentially spy on their owners. It’s downright frightening to consider that our technology could be used against us, but then, that’s kind of the CIA’s thing, isn’t it? That’s what we got from Kingsman: The Secret Service, anyway. The tablets, fablets, smart watches, and such that we’re just now adopting have long been the stuff of the intelligence community.
But Motherboard reports that the CIA has also spearheaded some very low-tech initiatives in its ongoing data accumulation—specifically, someone at Langley has been responsible for putting together a database of emoticons. You know, the little text drawings that convey your happiness or irritation, as well as pay tribute to Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan, apparently. These are not to be confused with emojis, which are considered pictographs—though some emojis can be emoticons, we hear. Anyway, a CIA worker has collected tons of emoticons, though they don’t seem to be aware that that’s what all those drawings are called. Emoticons are classified as something else by the CIA:
The CIA has thoughtfully compiled ALL OF THE INTERNET’S FACES for use in, well, we don’t know exactly. But they have every emotion, as well as every head desk and table flip. Those aren’t enough for one CIA emoticon database user, who implores of their coworkers that someone create an “‘implied perverse interpretation’ face,” as well as an “’undisapproval’ face [sic],” which sounds like someone’s planning to give this year’s sexual harassment seminar via Gchat.
It’s unclear exactly what use the CIA has for all these emoticons, beyond perking up an otherwise boring workday. But we expect to hear about similar efforts to amass all the emojis and even app stickers in the coming weeks—or, judging by the CIA’s timeliness here, the next decade.